tv [untitled] October 3, 2010 2:00pm-2:30pm PST
old, illegal units, rather than force them to be abandoned. the attitude of the city has really changed a lot and people are more likely to get help from their building inspector rather than enforcement. >> what i had hoped we could do is look at this little hand out for further discussion. starting on page one, it is from a website, home remodeling magazine, there is a long list of things supposedly san francisco-based, adjusted for local conditions, and how much of the cost you can expect to recoup for the work you're doing in the building. if you're doing work because you want to live there and you want to appreciate the improvement, that is different. if you're doing work with a clear eye to how much you can get back, i am shocked to see under the column that says "cost recouped," there's not a single one of these things that says you can get back all of your
cost, not one. some of them you get back a lot. most of them you do not do too well. is there anything where you recoup your full cost? golden gate bridge. >> there you go. >> in terms of immediate value, part of this is a function of our limited housing supply, really. that affects the value, of course. if you do a bathroom remodels, they are saying the job cost $18,000, you might recoup $15,000. the hard part in determining that, to compare apples and apples, is to look at a house in the sunset district with a single-family home with one bath, or is it a 3-bedroom condominium in the castro where maybe everything else is really done fairly recently and updated nicely, but maybe the bathrooms never got updated?
that would probably change dramatically the resale they'll -- value on that universes' the house in sunset. these are wild figures. we have to go to seek professional advice with the intent of satisfying your goal, whatever your goal would be. this is a question when representing sellers that we get all the time. it should i do this or that? you really need somebody that is in the industry to come with you and go through and say, don't do that, but painting this would be great, but don't put in a new counter in the bathroom or kitchen. it is item by item, neighborhood by neighborhood. sometimes, sellers are under the impression that if they agreed to the kitchen, that will add more value than they spent. oftentimes, it is the case that the buyer will not want what you as a seller chooses.
in fact, it is a detriment. sometimes it will turn buyers away. it is already begun. i don't want to tear it out. i don't want to pay for someone else's remodel. a lot of times, money well spent is an old adage, but things -- just selling a house, paint is the best thing you can do. >> pete is the number one thing. it really is. >> i sold my own house a few years ago when the interesting thing was that of a beloved my house. ever the love that. i said, it it is not exactly in of -- everybody loved it. i said, it is not exactly universal. we had a 50's kitchen. we had a second garage. we put in storage. we always wanted to redo the kitchen. that was the main thing. people say, i love the kitchen.
we sold that without redoing the kitchen. we made more money than we thought we ever could. they loved the kitchen. we separated the appliances and painted the whole thing. we did all the things around it. we made sure there was storage, and parking. all of the things that that was one thing that was not on, for somebody who would like to have it your personal, the kitchen, particularly, do it -- do everything else. that was a very big lesson in some ways. i thought the value would be taken away for that. it was not. >> that is a good point. you are right. especially if you -- did you do a countertop change at all? you didn't. you did appliances. >> yellow. >> new appliances can help a lot. especially today, the cost of
competitive prices are pretty good and you can make those changes for $3,000, $4,000, $5,000. they're oftentimes more energy- efficient. the general consensus is people like that. one other thing that i think is overlooked in terms of value, and i don't know of the survey talks about it, is landscaping and plants. lance camping, plants, and trees are really inexpensive compared to major remodels. i often feel it is something that is heavily overlooked. it as a lot of value. it is a touchy-really, emotional part of a property. oftentimes, we don't have front yards. maybe there should be a tree out front. maybe you should have potted plants lining the stairs going up. perhaps the rearguard in, although you never use it, doesn't matter if you don't get
sunshine. plant flowers that do not need son. those are oftentimes good ways to spend money on adding value to your home. >> people that are selling their homes do need to have someone that will absolutely come in. i had a stager come in my house. you need to have another i that will absolutely have you get rid of the little things that you think make it look homey and people love it, but the value -- there is a very big value here. it is the same thing as the fluff, but it isn't fluff. paint, or anything else. >> let's talk about staging and what that does. i see a trend toward more staging. what is staging and how important is it? >> staging is when, in the new property or a vacant property, we bring in furniture. it can also be the property you
have that is your home, removing your furniture and bringing in someone else's. the goal of staging is to create a neutral, audience-neutral environment where the buyer can imagine themselves without detracting by having your personal photographs on the walls or your grandmother's throw on the couch. you will notice that it is often neutral tones, nothing too dramatic, not very dramatic art. it is kind of like being in a hotel room. we have actually seen staging in some properties -- in some, it is still prop -- popular. in some markets, it is not even necessary on some properties. >> i think they are getting a little more daring with color.
there is some color. because it is expensive -- if you get a stager that can use your furniture in your things, but just at it, as they say, and as james said about the landscaping, that is so important. you cannot leave your kids bikes. it is a whole thing. >> i ride my bike to work. i was riding to work and i saw someone had just repainted their front door. it was a beautiful yellow with a little orange in it. i was thinking, that did not cost very much, and now their house really jumps right out. simple thing. a red door. >> a yellow door. >> you mentioned appliances and energy efficiency. how much do green improvements, solar systems and new appliances, affect the market these days in value?
is everybody looking for green? >> i am really trying to push that more. i am sure jameses, as well. -- james is, as well. we use what is available us, as far as being retailers and trying to influence people. there is a walk ability score that shows your property, how green it is by being close to services and close two stores, schools, and the walk ability -- walkability. they're doing that across the country and it is coming up in marketing. when green comes in, we are pushing for green designations and the work people do to make their house green. >> my own direct experience,
generally, the buying public will not pay more if it is green. maybe that is something people don't want to hear. it is the honest truth. that is my own direct experience. i think it is absolutely -- what will happen with the current green movement in building, is that it will become standard. it is becoming the standard. ultimately, it will be frowned upon when a house does not have these features, i think. i think that is how it will migrate into society, in that way. it is a good thing. it is becoming an awareness of all of these things, your appliances, your window rating, things like that. it is something that happens over time. people like to talk about it. i have sold properties where they are solar-ready, which means they have all of the equipment installed to bring the solar down, the solar energy
from the roof, down into the sub-area, to then transmitted to the electrical outlets and things, but the panel did not get installed yet because maybe the person did not want to spend the extra $20,000 or $30,000. it is a promise it is coming. you cannot ignore it. it is important to it least considerate. maybe someone is not going to spend $10,000 on green things or $20,000 on some sort of solar system with rebates. will you get that back? quite honestly, not sure today. >> i agree. i think it is a matter of education. it will soon come to, what are your miles per gallon? >> it will be that. >> the meeting also talked about being called in for energy staging at a house, to come in
and show what had been done for energy work. it will save money in the end for people. >> heating bills and things like that. the cost of oil is going up and it will continue to. those will become more issues. >> the plan of the building department, too. >> of the time of sale, they can require low-flow shower heads, aerators. we will see a tremendous expansion of that of the next few years. >> in terms of the green building features, when people are faced with a need in the building, do they generally recouped when they make their decision to go green? the one i see frequently as windows, when people are facing a choice that they need to replace or upgrade the windows in a building, if they are choosing to go with a green product, do you think that has
any cannot show in the marketplace? -- penache in the marketplace? flooring? things that people might be doing any while -- anyhow, but they may pay 10% more for a grain product. >> if it is green, it is nice. it is hard to attach a dollar figure. the general consensus is, that is great, which is a positive that always a good thing. i think so. >> i agree, but if you're faced with the decision to put in a court for, another alternative, versus a traditional, hardwood floor, that is a decision i would not make that bet on. it is an aesthetic thing. >> do byers asked about screeng
-- green? >> not yet. >> it is coming. >> we have with us in the audience a couple of folks from the department of the environment. barry, what do you have to add? >> one is the exciting actions the association of realtors has been taking, to be the first and the california to provide space in their database for industry standard, recognized green measures. aside from cork flooring or other surface treatments, which are a consideration, a buyer could have summary information about if the home has been measured for energy performance, and has some independent organization confirmed that you have actually installed -- that there is a reason to call it green. that has only been out there few
months. another metric of the fact that could have on the market when that becomes a little more populated in the database would be looking at whether that affects the days on the market, which i would expect to be more likely a factor of change, because if you are filtering your search on that criteria, you have more buyers looking at those particular homes. >> i think it is a very good measure. as the measures become standardized, you are right. it will be something that people will look for. they will say other things about the property. they could say, this property owner really thought things through carefully. that is a good thing, versus someone who didn't. sure. >> the aesthetics are really important. we are seeing more things that are a lot more choices. i just put in new zealand pine,
and approved material. we are even getting the terminology, trying to get people used to be a the -- used to the idea. cork floors, some people really like them. if i can get away from the granola aspect of what people think about green, it isn't -- well, it can be, but it is also -- the aesthetics of it is certainly changing. not everybody wants corp. floors. you're getting a lot more choices. >> let me ask a question about a different topic, repairs and maintenance verses improvement. at what level should people do repairs to their building in order to preserve their property value? people say, i do not want to continue to invest. if you build through that work,
is that some write-off on the bottom line? >> generally it does. you have to do that work. maintenance is personal. it also feeds into a bigger issue. it should be a green consideration. how long does something last? if you are going to put a new deck in, are you going to use inexpensive wood because it is cheap? if you have to replace it in five years, it is not cheap because it will cost you double, and it is not good for the environment and the rest of it. you want to look at longevity of materials, and durability, and those kind of things. that is very important. i am not a green strip of fire, but that is how i would look at things. it is important, for sure. things like? -- it is a crucial point. there are many kinds of wood. some will last a few years if
you leave it outside, and others will last 25 years. >> that is the value of talking to your buyer. i believe this project that we have -- you can say, "this is not a redwood tenure deck. it is in new zealand pine 30- year? ." it is more money but will last to 50 years. >> the important thing about maintenance is not deferring to much. it just gets worse and worse. then when you are selling the property, more likely than not, you will have a pest inspection, which is where we have an expert go through. he sees there is dry rot or fungus or structural problems. then there is a number in that
report which is how much he estimates repairs to be. if you had spent $2,500 every five years to seal your deck, that might prevent you from having the $45,000 report you just got. >> we do that almost immediately upon receiving a listing from the cellar. the first thing we ask them to do is to get it passed report to find out what the damage is so there is negotiation up front. that is something that is known. we almost never have a zero report. >> to those usually come off the bottom line? >> i would say yes, oftentimes. >> it will affect the list price in some way. >> how much does parking? >> i see people putting garages under their houses. how does that work? >> an appraiser looks at it for
$50,000 to $100,000, depending on the area. if it is way out in sunset, there is more street parking. but in his family it could be a very big thing. >> parking is still super valuable, even though there is a citywide movement to get people out of their cars, which is quite good. and it is working, which is really working. we have bike lanes everywhere. it is great. we are really seeing that. it is nice to see that. but parking is still a big one. i think some of that will not change. the style of the cars change over a long time. that is still a very valuable feature. >> here is the secret. nobody knows about this. this is fire rated glazing. this is not a window.
this is a fire rated transparent wall. but putting in one of these, and i think mr. hall has done this, you can cut a hole in your property line wall ware windows are not allowed. you can put this in and get a view of the golden gate bridge. have you done this? >> yes. i have to fantastic view walls in the east side of my bedroom. i have this kind of transparent wall material that allows me to view the bay bridge and downtown, which otherwise would not have. i am not sure i want to tell city planning about this, but it is great stuff. it is expensive per square foot, but by comparison to the improvement of equality in my like having them view, i will
take it. >> how much is a view of downtown worth? >> and lot more than the roughly $200 a square foot. >> this is an odd piece of value enhancement. >> that would not necessarily be considered a window from the planning department. >> that is correct. it is a wall. it is made with special high- temperature glass with coating between layers. how about that? there is a thin steel that goes around inside. it is not structural. we are working on the structural glazing. you need to take care of the structural issues, just like a window. anyway. i just thought i would mention there are ways to substantially increase the value at very low costs. putting in windows were you
previously did not have that opportunity might be one of them. >> i like that. >> that will get your attention. you can put this in a high-rise. >> who makes that? >> there are a number of companies that make it. this company is called a technical glass products. there are some other things that i see. a look at buildings all the time. sometimes i look at them with you guys. one of the things i see that seems to be -- it to add tremendous fight to a building is interior moldings and tramp -- crown mold, baseboards, chair rails, ceiling rails. do you find that to be the case? >> it depends on the style of the house. if it is a traditional house, edwardian, victorian, certainly. but not just everyday ordinary
home depot crown molding. probably something in little bit nicer, more traditional. but i think the contemporary -- in the last 10 or 20 years, you probably want to consult with an interior designer before you slap of a molding. >> i suggest an architect. these are people who are trained to look at the appearance and make decisions. but i have seen it to great advantage, especially in the older buildings, victorian and edwardian period >> i agree with you to go with a professional. but is there a particular group? another list in the yellow pages and all that. for the exterior, you talk about the curb appeal, something like windows. where do i find a list of these people, without having to trouble a realtor who is maybe
just interested in selling it? >> i think in that, just to address if different ways, you might want to get a couple different opinions. it does not take long. you might want to get an opinion from a realtor, even though they may just be interested in selling it. that may be true or may not be true. a 50 minute opinion might be worth it and help round out your decision from your next professional, who might be the architect, as warren suggested, especially now, because architects are out looking for work. they are happy to spend a little time with you. they could give you ideas about potential problems are complexities with the ideas you have, or come up with new ideas. >> on the exterior, there are
many talented painters in the city that not only paint -- the have a good eye. >> there are designers who are also stagers. it is not limited to the interior. it is the whole house. there are also landscape architects if you are thinking of the outside. there are stagers and designers that can do that. >> most of those professional people, architects and engineers, will sell their services by the hour. you do not have to buy the whole program. you do not have to hire them to do the whole building. you can say, "i would like to consult with you for an hour or two hours. that makes it very reasonable. you get a lot out of it when someone really knows what they're looking at. >> as long as you say up front -- some people will say that they might sell it. we are happy to go to people so
we might be known. an hour of our time would be well spent in getting to know you and your house. we will give you advice for who to call. we have a good database of people. we are always asked to give it out. >> they have tremendous experience in doing what you're talking about. i do think that is an important resource to call. >> let us talk about what the assessor reporter does when you do improvements to your building. if you look at page 36 on the handout, we have some information from the assessor reporter's office, things that are a sensible and things that are not accessible -- things that are assessable and that are not asssessable.
there will be addressed for tax purposes. for every edition or every major permit, most permits we send to the assessor reporter's office. they have a staff who looks at building permits. they do not use the value that is on the building permit. that is our the dow elation purposes for charging fees. they have a whole mechanism for praising and assessing valuation. a horizontal addition and a vertical addition certainly will result in additional assessment. by the way,? are interesting because the rules change. if you are on the ground and it is a patio, it has different rules. if you lay a flagstone patio, you're not getting a permit for a deck. but if you build -- let us say you build a deck that is less
than 30 inches off the ground. no permit is required. it does not go to the assessor reporter's office. between 30 and 36 inches off the ground, you need a permit. you can expand the entire size of your rear yard. if you are more than 36 inches off the ground, you have to meet the planning department open space requirements and encroachment requirements. there is a whole range. another thing would be converting an unfinished basement or adding living area, which is happening very often. people are taking the back of their grosz and turning it into their room, or an attic. that is happening in lot. you have to be assessed for that. i think that is a very green thing to do because you do not have to add building.